NLP and personal development: steps to get what you want

Pessimistic people can  have tunnel vision as they tend to focus on one thing, often the problem. Optimism allows the brain to take in more information and process more of your environment.

Knowing the basics of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) creates an excellent basis for personal development making it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions. Here are 7 stages of personal change leading you to think positive and get what you want:

Stage 1: Developing Awareness

The motivation for change begins with the feeling that we aren’t fulfilling our full potential in at least one area of our life. This awareness can be subtle at first and it leads to your personal recognition that something needs to be adjusted either in your mindset or in a practical area of your life. Even before you can put your finger on the particular source of internal discomfort, you feel it on some level.

Stage 2: Discovery

The discovery stage is where your conscious mind has located the primary source of your discomfort and you are becoming more aware of its presence. At this stage you may experience some resistance from your ego.

The human ego often seeks refuge in denial, where it pretends that your discomfort is resulting from a source that’s external to you opposed to an internal one. For personal change to occur beyond this stage, it’s crucial that we accept that the source of our uneasiness is within ourselves and most importantly, in our ability to control. 

Stage 3: Ownership

We must take sole responsibility for our discomfort or unease with courage to fully acknowledge that the source of our problem/s is internal and not external. At this stage, we consciously recognise that it is our thought patterns, emotional inconsistencies, lifestyle habits, perception, limiting beliefs or poor reasoning that needs to be amended.

We alone are in control of how it is that we choose to respond or react to the circumstances/situations that we find ourselves in. In life, empowerment comes from taking responsibility and assuming full ownership of any given situation.

Stage 4: Exposure

In this stage, in the process of change we expand our search to identify the habit or attitude that has stopped serving us. This can be challenging for many reasons. The most important are: 1) logic is seldom a useful tool in the emotional arena and 2) we tend to assume that our beliefs are universal truths and consistently look for ways to justify them.

Once we recognise that we’ve been held back or limited by a particular idea, we will then have both logic and emotion supporting our desire for change.

Stage 5: Intention

This is the threshold of personal change. You have identified an old belief (or behaviour pattern), and you are now motivated to replace it with something more useful. You’re ready to move away from your previous stage and embrace the new. It’s time to choose a direction.

Upon reaching this stage in the process of change, it is relatively easy to identify what your desired state is (where you want to be). The same comparison process that exposed your source of initial discomfort will have now revealed the end goal of your ideal future. At this point, embrace a proactive mindset and formulate your plan of action!

Stage 6: Action

Taking consistent action is the only means by which an individual can achieve real time results. If you don’t take an action, nothing will change and your discomfort with the present reality will intensify due to your now greater awareness of it.

Taking an action demands that we let go of fear and limiting beliefs, and embrace faith and uncertainty, as we step out of the comfort zone and move towards where we envisage ourselves being.

Stage 7: Integration

This is the last phase of the process of personal growth where change has happened. What started with a mental awareness, a need for adjustment has resulted in an evolution in your journey of personal growth and development.

You have now grown in your appreciation of what’s achievable for you, and you are letting go of an established belief or pattern of behaviour that wasn’t serving you any more. 

This has now been replaced with something more useful.

Try it out and replace what is no longer serving you.

Note: this article is inspired by Kain Ramsay course on NLP.

To learn more of abilities and functions of the brain, go here.

Photo credits: Marisa



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